Co-op Diploma Apprenticeship Program Creates Value for Students, Employers and Society

Student at Sheridan College studying Mechanical Techniques
Co-op Diploma Apprenticeship Program Creates Value for Students, Employers and Society
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Sheridan’s three-year Co-op Diploma Apprenticeship program in Mechanical Technician-Tool Making makes it easier, cheaper and faster for individuals to pursue in-school and on-the-job training in a sector that is poised to grow, according to a 2014 Outlook Report by KPMG.

Saving Time and Money

The seamless program enables individuals to train as apprentices, completing all in-school learning outcomes and significant on-the-job training while concurrently obtaining a post-secondary diploma. “Students complete a year-long, paid work experience in which they develop in-depth tool making skills while accumulating up to 2,000 hours toward their apprenticeship,” explains Alan Reid, Associate Dean of Sheridan’s Skills Training Centre where the program is based. “As an employer consortium sponsors all participants, the program is available even to students who lack a sponsor, eliminating one of the biggest obstacles to apprenticeship training.”

“Without tool making, there is no manufacturing,” notes Reid. “Every time you change the shape of any product that is mass produced, a new tool is required.”

Boosting Knowledge for Employers

“Given that students complete three semesters of study prior to beginning their on-the-job training, the co-op diploma program also addresses employers’ growing demands for individuals with a stronger knowledge base at the start of their placement,” adds Reid. “As a result, our students are entrusted with more challenging and meaningful projects than they likely would undertake if we had a shorter in the field component.” Sheridan’s employer consortium group consists of 18 employers in the West GTA that collectively offers approximately 40 placements.

Supporting Canada’s Future Growth

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While the manufacturing sector has experienced its fair share of challenges over the past five years, the KPMG report, based on a survey of 139 senior Canadian manufacturing executives showed that 74% are optimistic or very optimistic about their future, representing an increase of 11% since 2010. The same report identifies a strong concern among Canadian manufacturers as being a lack of qualified people to meet their projected demand at a time when companies are looking to hire more workers. It also outlines a high level of confidence in the North American market as a source of new growth as opposed to emerging economies.

“Without tool making, there is no manufacturing,” notes Reid. “Every time you change the shape of any product that is mass produced, a new tool is required. This is the talent we’re cultivating at Sheridan. We’re building the foundational expertise that companies need to manufacture their products or make production happen, whether they operate in the pharmaceutical, automotive, electrical components, medical, food, or aerospace industry. Our biggest challenge at Sheridan is that we have five times the job offers as we do graduates to fill them.”

Learn More

For more information about the Mechanical Technician – Tool Making program, members of the public are invited to attend an open-house information session on Tuesday, August 5 from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. at the Skills Training Centre, 407 Iroquois Shore Road in Oakville.

Additional information about the program can be found by calling 905-845-9430 ext. 8059 or by visiting https://sheridancollege.ca/academics/programs-and-courses/mechanical-technician-tool-making.aspx

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